Belfast Telegraph

Monday 21 April 2014

Monaghan's Corey in lead role for showdown

Vincent Corey needs no reminding that Monaghan will be stepping into the lion's den when they confront Derry in the Ulster Senior Football Championship on Sunday.

Skipper Corey must not only strive to elicit another winning performance from his side against the Oak Leaf representatives but he must do so in what could prove an intimidating Celtic Park.

Seamus McEnaney's men may have held the whip hand over Derry of late but Corey acknowledges that, in line with the Stock Market, past performance is no guarantee of future prosperity.

"Celtic Park is definitely not an easy place to go to especially for an opening Championship match. Derry will feel they have a big point to make but although there will obviously be pressure on us, we're looking forward to the game," maintains utility player Corey who created quite an impact at full-forward last year before reverting to his more normal defensive role this term.

Monaghan may have gained promotion but the fact that they lost the Division Two National League decider against Cork having previously slipped up at home against Kieran McGeeney's Kildare has erased any hint of complacency that might have infiltrated their camp.

And with Derry have drifted through a relatively comfortable campaign in Division One, Corey concedes that they will be bolstered by certain plus-factors.

"They had a decent league run and got to the final, they will be at home, Damian Cassidy will be very keen to get a first championship win and their fans will be out in force," points out Corye.

But even if recent hiccups have perhaps tainted overall confidence, the skipper himself is convinced that Monaghan's experience gained over the past few years and the fact that the team is now a more potent fusion of youth and experience will fuel their ambition to make it into the semi-finals.

"We have been working on certain things that did not go well for us in the league so that we will have them right for Sunday. There are some players who shaped up very well in the league and others who, while they were not quite so prominent in the league, have been very impressive in training and challenge games lately so we won't be too far away. And you can be sure that our trainer Marty McElkennon will have us in great physical shape," smiles Corey.

Fitness and stamina will certainly be essential attributes for the visitors - and for the home team too, let it be said.

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